Press Release

Senator Gillibrand Announces Final Passage of Martin Van Buren National Historic Site Protection Act

Mar 25, 2009

Washington, DC – New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced final passage of the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site Boundary Revision Act, legislation sponsored by then-Congresswoman Gillibrand and then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. This bill will enact a 2003 study by the National Park Service that will add approximately 261 acres to the current Park.

“Passage of this legislation is the culmination of years of work by the National Park Service, local and country leaders and organizations to preserve the history of Martin Van Buren’s Lindenwald, and the rich agricultural character of the Hudson Valley,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.  “The dedication of the local community to preserve their rich history has been vital in bringing this legislation to passage. This boundary expansion will protect local agricultural lands and help to increase tourism opportunities in the historic Hudson Valley. I want to recognize Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who sponsored the companion legislation in the Senate, and was instrumental in its passage.”

Town of Kinderhook Supervisor, Douglas K. McGivney said, “Thank you Senator Gillibrand. This is great news for Kinderhook and is testimony to the rewards for persistence of not only many in this community and the Friends of Lindenwald – but the efforts and determination of our former Congresswoman, now Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand. This act will increase our historical resources and educational benefits to the citizens of Kinderhook and also add to our economic and employment assets.

Friends of Lindenwald President, Tom Neufeld said, “This boundary adjustment for Lindenwald expands and preserves Martin Van Buren’s historic, as well as agricultural, legacy. The Friends of Lindenwald are most appreciative of Senator Gillibrand’s efforts and support.”

Open Space Institute President, Joe Martens said, “Passage of the Public Lands Omnibus Bill is a milestone in American conservation history. It will result in critical landscape protection across the country, including at the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook, New York. Thanks to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s efforts, the Open Space Institute will now be in a position to donate land and conservation easements on Van Buren’s nineteenth century farm to the National Park Service.”

Martin Van Buren National Historic Site Superintendent, Daniel J. Dattilio said, “The National Park Service testified in support of this legislation because we thought there were so many outstanding benefits for many different interests.  It preserves for perpetuity nationally significant resources that were part of Martin Van Buren’s Lindenwald, for the first time it provides visitor access to sections of Van Buren’s original farm, thus gaining a better understanding of its significance in American history, it promotes preservation of farming and open space in a region where it is quickly disappearing, and most of the land remains under private management. To start this process numerous individuals, organizations, and government groups expressed their desire to the New York Congressional Delegation and now I am hearing widespread gratitude being expressed for the efforts of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and now Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who both introduced the legislation. The Friends of Lindenwald also deserve praise for their long-term promotion of this idea, and the Open Space Institute who indicated their intention to donate to the National Park Service, land and easements that are within the new boundary.”

The boundary revision is supported by the Village of Kinderhook, the Town of Kinderhook, the New York State Historic Preservation Office, the Open Space Institute, the Columbia County Land Conservancy, the Friends of Lindenwald, the Columbia County Historical Society, the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, and was unanimously supported by the Columbia County Board of Supervisors in a 2005 board vote.

The legislation passed the Senate last week and the House of Representatives today.